[img_assist|nid=8202|title=LC Press Conference|desc=At a press conference announcing the Louisiana Collegiate International Academy, Randall Esters, dean of LC’s School of Education, President Joe Aguillard, Vice President Tim Johnson and International Consultant Traci Thomas answer questions.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor
PINEVILLE – Top-ranking high school juniors and seniors starting this fall will be able to take classes at Louisiana College and receive both high school and college credit.
LC recently received accreditation for its newly-formed Louisiana Collegiate International Academy – LCIA. The announcement was made during a June 1 press conference.
“We’re grateful God has brought us to this day,” said Tim Johnson, LC’s executive vice president, as the press conference convened. “This very ministry could literally impact the world … and fulfill our mission, which is to change the world for Christ.”
LC President Joe Aguillard first had the idea in 2009 to add a high school component to LC, specifically one that would incorporate an international focus. It took three years and divine intervention to bring it to pass, Aguillard said.
“In our path God laid Horizon English, who will partner with us,” the president said.
Traci Thomas of Horizon English was introduced at the press conference as LC’s “International Consultant.” Thomas and her husband, Adam Schmidley founded Horizon English seven years ago in China. It provides English language training of such caliber, Aguillard, that Thomas was recognized for her work by the Chinese government.
LCIA will offer students from across the world the opportunity to accelerate their academic careers in a collegiate campus setting through college-level courses, a highly-trained and qualified faculty, and a unique international cultural experience, Aguillard said.
“The mission of the Louisiana Collegiate International Academy falls right in line with the overall mission of Louisiana College,” the president said. “That mission is to provide an educational experience characterized by Christian principles, academic excellence, and global perspectives focused on graduating students with a capacity to improve the world through selfless giving, global leadership principles, and godly character.”
LCIA will be based on the “middle college” concept first established in the 1970s in New York, said Randall Esters, dean of LC’s School of Education.
“The distinctions that make the LC program unique is the opportunity for students to live on campus, have personal mentors, take part in the collegiate experience, and finish their high school requirements alongside students from around the world,” Esters said.
LCIA students can earn up to 50 college credits at one-third the usual cost of attending LC, and all graduates will be guaranteed undergraduate admission to LC, the dean said.
“The school’s level of instruction, curriculum and achievement will meet and exceed requirements for a high school disploma,” he added. “The LCIA is designed to catapult high academic achievers to a level of accomplishment and challenge they may not be finding in traditional high school settings. The development of a hybrid curriculum that exceeds state and national standards will be paramount to the success of the program.”
Thomas said she would like to see about 20 percent of the LCIA student body to be international.
“International students will infuse the campus with cultural diversity and prepare every student to excel in the global community,” Thomas said. “Although the medium of academic delivery will be English, languages such as Mandarin and Korean will be heard extensively on campus.
“The purpose of the scholars program is to create an empathetic student community relative to other people and cultures,” Thomas continued.
Qualified candidates for LCIA will have a composite 3.5 GPA in required subjects, a composite ACT score of 22, and letters of recommendation from select teachers.
Also required: two, 3-page (minimum) personal essays, a record of co-curricular, extra-curricular, and community activities, a strong work ethic, and a good moral character.
“Though applicants are not required to be Christians, they will be required to supply an original wirtten essay describing their own character traits as they relate to moral behavior in a Christian environment,” according to the press release.
LCIA has five objectives:
A nurturing environment that will ensure a student’s academic and developmental growth;
A rigorous academic program designed to prepare students for a successful college experience;
A global awareness and an understanding of an interdependent world;
An immersion in college culture while providing small group and individual support;
A knowledge of the Bible’s content and basic doctrines.
About 50 local students and 10 or more international students are expected to enroll this fall in LCIA; perhaps triple that many in 2013.
For more information about the program, call 318.487.7935 or email email@example.com.